Tinselman’s First Play Date

My little Tinselman is growing up so fast! We actually had his first real play date just a couple of weeks ago.

During the course of my pregnancy (and my crazy tendency to Google anything and everything) I stumbled upon an online pregnancy forum. Throughout those 9 months surrounded by hundreds of other women who were all due in September, I began to form real, valuable friendships. We eventually paired down from over 800 women to a solid core group of about 80.

Being that we were all from different parts of the world, it was pure coincidence that two other moms were actually local to us! So, we decided to get these three cuties together and the adorableness that ensued was almost too much to handle!

Here are some pics from the day!

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They all wanted to touch each other! Finally, someone else that looks like them!

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Little Mark was very curious haha!

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Have you ever tried wrangling 3 infants? AND take photos? AND handle the overwhelming cuteness overload??!?!

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Us moms had a blast too. I very much enjoyed getting to them and their little ones. I am patiently counting down to our next play date!

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And We’re Back!

Holy cannoli. These past few weeks have been a blur. Ever since I wrecked my car (see here), things have gotten cray.

I finally purchased my new car, new to me anyway, and have since moved!

Between that and working 2 jobs and taking care of Tinselman, its been a little hectic – to say the least.

But worry not my friends and family. I have been sure to keep my camera accessible and on little man. We have some catching up to do!

So for now, I will start with my baby’s first Easter photos…

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I can’t honestly believe that he is 7 months old already. It feels like just yesterday he was a teeny tiny newborn. I am so grateful for each day that goes by that I get to see him learn and grow and love. I love you bean!

Easter is Right Around the Corner

Easter is April 5th. April. 5th. That’s like, two weeks away! Can you believe it? This year is almost 25% over…I digress.

All in favor of dressing up your kid, wrestling them into the car seat, driving to the packed mall, hoping your kid doesn’t puke/poo/pee/snot all over their outfit, then pay 1000% over cost for photos of your kid screaming and crying with a terrified bunny-man behind them, raise your hand!!!

*cricks*

Just as I suspected.

Easter photos don’t have to involve that nonsense. And if you are too far away to visit me at my home studio (click here for info), then here is a DIY for taking your own Easter photos.

1. The Backdrop. This is the most difficult part of the project, but don’t worry! It’s mostly just a little time consuming 🙂

Visit your local hardware store or crafts store. You need to purchase two thin sheets of plywood. I bought 3/8ths inch Baltic plywood from my local hardware shop. Then I bought a little can of wood stain and a few cheap paint samples. This is where the “hard” part starts. Sand down any rough spots on your plywood. Stain one of the boards with a stain of you choice. Then paint the other board with you paint choice. Voila! Backdrop.

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2. Get some cute props. I used plastic eggs, bunny ears, paper circles, a metal bunny, and a Happy Easter sign.

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3. Decorate! Woo hoo! Set up your area the way you’d like.

4. Now, find a room in your house that has a decent amount of natural light and set up shop. I set up in front of my dining room windows. This allows for ample natural light.

5. Camera settings. I always shoot in manual, which some people agree with and some don’t, but it works for me. What can I say, I like to have control. For these shots you will need a low-light or prime lens. I used a 50mm f1.8 lens. This is a wide aperture lens that will allow in a ton of light. And they are pretty affordable (bonus!). I shot with my aperture at f1.8, shutter speed at 1/100, and my ISO at 320. The higher the ISO, the brighter the photo, however the more grain it will have. I use a Nikon D600, which has amazing low-light capabilities. Other DSLRs are better, others aren’t as good. These were shot on a fairly cloudy day as well, so your results will vary depending on the amount of natural light. I did a tiny bit of editing and voila! Easter photos!

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No terrifying bunny-man. No screaming, crying children. No outfit changes in the middle of the crowded mall. And you can take as many shots as you want without paying an arm and a leg!

If you are in the DMV area (DC, Maryland, Virginia), and don’t feel like setting this all up, check out my Easter Mini Sessions currently being offered at Brittany Marie Photography.

Mmm…Sweet Potato!

Have you been craving a little helping of cuteness? Well, worry not! For I am here to satisfy that hunger!

Tinselman is not a fan of grown up foods yet. He is still mostly just playing with them and squishing everything into obliteration. However, he was a fan of avocados, so we decided to try sweet potatoes last week.

Let me tell you, he definitely enjoyed them. I used a fresh sweet potato and steamed it in the microwave for 5 or so minutes. Then I mashed it up with a little formula to get a nice consistency for him. Finally, we indulged 🙂

We haven’t done much this week unfortunately. My poor little bug is teething and by the time we get home he is a little cranky butt and then he goes to bed. But fear not! We will still be providing you with giant doses of baby awesomeness.

Enjoy!

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Activity – Rain Sticks / Sound Sticks

Yay! It is time for a new activity.

This is one we also did on our Snow Day 2015! You can see the others here and here.

Today, I will show you how to make your own rain stick (or sound stick)!

This activity was slightly more time consuming to make (about 20 minutes total), so I squeezed this one in while little Mark napped on the couch with big Mark 😉

First, all you need is an empty tube, short nails, tape, beads, rice, or dry beans, and colorful paper. I used a toilet paper tube and a paper towel tube, but you can use any cardboard tube, the thicker the better!

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Poke the nails through the tubes. You need to use quite a few nails to get the desired sound effect. This was the most time consuming part. You can also use toothpicks, just cut them to size.

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This is what it will look like once you have all the nails in. I did them in two spirals and then straight down the sides.

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Next, tape one end off of the tube, so that you can add your noise makers.

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I also taped over the nails to make sure none popped out!

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Then, add in a handful of your noise makers. I used glass seed beads for the small tube and pearl beads for the big tube. I tested each one out by flipping it over onto my hand to make sure I added enough to get my desired sound effect.

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Once your beads, rice, or beans are added, tape of the open end.

I then covered both tubes in some left over colorful craft paper I had. You can use any colorful paper!

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Ta-da! Finished product. I would recommend putting a layer of clear tape or laminating paper over the craft paper, as these will, without a doubt, end up in your little ones mouths.momtogwithablog_0189

And now for little Mark’s review!

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Straight into the mouth.

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I then gave him the big one. I showed him how it makes noise a bunch of times.

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But, it went straight into his mouth. So, I tried my demonstration again…

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This did motivate him to inspect the rain stick more closely…

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Alas, it ended up right back in his mouth.

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He seemed to enjoy watching me play with it, and he definitely liked the bright colors! I will be laminating it for future use, so he doesn’t gnaw off the craft paper.

To see more activity ideas, make sure you follow Momtog with a Blog, and like me on Facebook 🙂